Sorry don't feel like making a thread, but saw this today.
NBA "experts" on top FA this off-season
1. Rank your top three free agents.
Amin Elhassan, ESPN Insider: Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Al Horford. There obviously is a considerable drop-off from the top two to the third, illustrating just how thin this year's free-agent crop is. An argument can be made for a couple of restricted free agents (such as Bradley Beal and Andre Drummond) and some vets (such as Dwight Howard, Mike Conley and Nic Batum), but ultimately, I think Durant and James lead the way (with Durant taking the edge because of his age), and Horford comes next.
Calvin Watkins, ESPN.com: 1. Durant: He will get plenty of recruiting visits this summer, as he should. 2. James: He's expected to become a free agent, but I suspect he'll remain in Cleveland. 3. Hassan Whiteside: There's so much upside for this talented center. Maturity is a question, but he got better as the season progressed.
Bradford Doolittle, ESPN Insider: I'm going to ignore restricted free agents whose current team will match any offer sheet they get, as well as James and Durant. So among the non-transcendent, more realistic targets, my top three are: 1. Conley, a two-way point guard who can also play off the ball. 2. Whiteside, an explosive center who can fix any team's defense with the stroke of a pen. 3. Horford, an All-Star big man with versatility on both ends of the floor who can play inside and shoot from the outside.
Zhang Weiping, Tencent: Durant, James and Drummond. Being the No. 1 free agent this summer, Durant could sign a five-year contract worth $160 million or agree to a short-term deal, allowing him to sign a more lucrative deal when the salary cap spikes. LeBron is also going to get a big contract as a 13-year veteran (although staying in Cleveland on a short-term deal could actually cost him $3 million). And Drummond will likely get a less expensive max as a restricted free agent coming off his rookie deal.
Ian Begley, ESPN.com: James and Durant are the top two on everyone's list. No. 3 will engender debate; I'd go with Whiteside. In free agency, finding young players who have plenty of room to grow -- and can realistically be expected to do so -- is key. A Whiteside signing isn't without risk, but it's rare to find a free agent with fewer than 150 games played who has shown an ability to affect the game the way Whiteside has (14.2 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 3.7 BPG last season).
Disregard the obvious KD and Lebron, the names get mentioned here are Drummond, Whiteside, Horford, Dwight, Conley, Beal, Batum.
like really, not a single mention of Derozan? come on man...not even gonna bother arguing whether he's on a similar tier with Drummond, Whiteside, Horford...but the other guys who don't even even make All-stars?
1) Nick Batum gets his deal with the Hornets "done quick" so he can play for France.
...so much for historical posturing.
2) Demar is turning down interviews with Clippers ... will still likely meet the Lakers... but is simply working towards getting his return deal to Raptors done. Part of those conversations is 'potentially agreeing' to a little shave on the money to be able to bring back Biyombo.
Biz wants to be patient and wants Toronto.
Dont know if any the last part is true but it sure sounds nice.
Now if Masai can:
1) Renounce Scola
2) Move out James Johnson and.... (very realistic possibility although Demar is a friend of his)
3) Move out Terrence Ross..... (less realistic but $12Million is not a bad contract in the upcoming cap explosion depending on what comes back. Say a $8Million player and a draft pick ?)
Some reports / rumors he might meet the Knicks due to Rose trade.
While not specifically mentioned I would infer that Toronto was not granted a meeting either.
If the only Eastern Conference team is 'maybe possibly the Knicks' unconfirmed that would suggest Durant is narrowly focused on teams in the Championship mold now (!) being I suppose SanAn GS and potentially his own OKLA.
I don't really disagree with his analysis if true.
I had hoped he would look at the depth of the Raps and view Lbron/Cavs verses Durant/Raps and agree to force some sort of sign and trade with draft picks / Tross / other players going back the other way. I also figured he would least hear the pitch from Masai based on rep.
Personally I rather doubt it. We had Lou and Jamal is Lou 2.5. No indication that Jamal would take anything less than a starter type contract and that is not available in TO
2) Biz to the Knicks if they fail to do the deal on Noah....
3) Raps back up plan is Tross to Philly for Nerlans Noel as a Biz replacement
Very very plausible.
Tross said to go the other way.
Tross was drafted by Bryan Colangelo. Philly could use more everything and a quality shooter who can turn it on sometimes would help the young guys. Tross's defense is passable and been coached to...something the young 6ers need to learn. Tross's contract is actually viewed as a hindrance in Toronto but is "not so bad" under the new cap if your team is under the cap.
I could potentially see this deal go through honestly even if we do attempt to resign Biz. Noel is still young / restricted and can add depth at the 4 if not the 5. The net should create a little Cap room that 'might be enough' to sign Biz to a 1 or 2 year deal with a promise for more later...
The only thing on this deal is... Tross is what $11Million ?
Noel is $5M plus a potential Q.Offer next season.
Difference of $6M that Philly can absorb being so far under the cap.
I would expect Philly would demand our "Clipper protected pick" in 2017 though... I mean it will end up being the "25th overall or some such thing" but Ross and a pick for Noel plus $6M in Cap space sounds fair.
DeMar DeRozan resigns with the Raptors for 5 years/$139 million.
Masai is looking for a trade with the 76ers involving Nerlens Noel. If he can pull it off, it means Bismack is very much a goner but getting Noel is a bonus as he is younger and probably has higher upside too now that he will be on a winning team.
Here's the breakdown of DeMar's salary with the new cap:
If Masai could somehow get our hands on Noel for just 1st+TRoss, wow that would be great, but seems too good to be true tho, TRoss is not desirable and Sixers isn't trying to get more future 1st, Noel should net them better offers.
Plus Noel is still more 5 than 4, would be great to have him replace Biyombo as first big off the bench, but we STILL have a hole at the starting 4.